John Morris Writes Memoir; I Remember When They Taught Cows to Talk

About Remember When They Taught Cows to Talk - John Morris

I Remember When They Taught Cows to Talk - John MorrisBy John Morris

I wrote this book from my position as sole carer for my father, who was diagnosed with dementia in 2015. Although there are plenty of publications that have a similar starting point, I do believe what I have attempted to do is unique. I tried to make it very short, to the point and affordable.

I cover the fundamentals of dementia care, based on my personal experiences. I had to familiarise myself with all the associated administrative aspects from applying for lasting power of attorney to financing his stay in a care home. Though the book is very centred around the British system and the contacts you need to make there, I also include plenty of useful tips on managing personal care and behaviour that worked very well and could be useful for people of all nationalities. I detail disturbing, but also gripping, incidents such as my father escaping at night or nearly setting the house on fire, and I describe ways to deal with such problems so that others can pre-empt them and lessen the likelihood of potentially dangerous situations occurring.

I have had very positive feedback about the book’s readability, most importantly from my father’s psychologist, who works for the National Health Service as part of the Intensive Support Service for Older People. Although its main purpose is to disseminate information, I was also hopeful that it would be an easy read that induces both tears and laughter in its readers and judging by the reviews on Amazon, I would like to think that I have achieved this.

As I think my book would work well as a first port of call for carers I have included plenty of links to websites in the endnotes so topics can be explored further. They are also available as QR codes to make it easier for those reading a paper copy.

The title of this book, I Remember When They Taught Cows to Talk, is taken directly from something my father said. As the dementia started to take hold his vocabulary diminished and in his attempts to communicate he would create new words to fill the void. I include some of his surreal wordplay in the book as they are used as the chapter titles. I feel this approach gives the book a unique quirkiness and means the book is as much my father’s as it is my own.

I use the pen name John Morris as I felt uncomfortable about some of the details mentioned in the book and concerning my father ever being made public.

I lost my mother when I was very young, and I had quite a fractured relationship with my father growing up. I am a teacher, and this is my first book. I have spent much of my life teaching abroad, but I returned to the U.K. in 2014 at my father’s request, as he started to realise that he had a problem.

I then spent five years caring for my aging father, but after he was placed in a care home, I took a sabbatical and decided to write this guide for others in my position. The years I spent with him enabled me to repair our relationship and though they were the most difficult time we spent together; they were also the best.

Being the only carer meant I had to learn about every piece of key information myself and put into practice what I had learnt. This coupled with living with him meant I was totally immersed in the processes required to make his life as good as possible, and I was very keen to pass on what I absorbed.




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  1. To John Morris.. journey through dementia with my partner also allowed us to repair old wounds and while it was heartbreakingly difficult at times , we shared something that was and remains untouchably heartwarming

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